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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  August 31, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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the president expected any moment to meet with military members at fort bliss in texas. and mitt romney makes a surprise visit to storm-battered louisiana after being invited by republican governor bobby jindal. president obama will tour the area on monday. it is governor romney's first stop since asking americans to, quote, turn the page on president obama. >> if you felt that excitement when you voted for barack obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's president obama? you know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him. >> and you can bet people are still reacting to that speech and it's coming in pretty fast. reuters writes, romney appeals to voters disillusioned with obama. and in "the washington post," mitt romney promised his friends praised and clint eastwood putz it would convention. that's what everyone seems to be talking about today.
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some have gone as far as to say the star's primetime interview with an empty chair overshadowed romney's big moment. >> i've got mr. obama sitting here. and he's -- i just was going to ask him a couple of questions. what do you mean, shut up? >> let me bring in our "news nation" political panel for this friday, chip salzman, jimmy williams. i just got the two of you. i'm lucky. that means you have a lot to say here. chip, let me start off with a moment that happened on "morning joe." michael steele talking about marco rubio, chris christie and how he at least interpreted their speeches in regard to romney's chances of winning. let me play it. >> people aren't concentrated on 2012. they're looking to 2016. there's an inherent assumption that romney's going to lose and
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that's not what you want to walk away from this convention with, people talking about marco rubio in 2016 or chris christie in 2016. you want to talk about mitt romney in 2012. >> that was michael steele this morning. so are people talking about mitt romney 2012 or should we throw in clint eastwood's name in there as well? >> that would certainly be fun. we missed you in tampa, tamron. that's not what i was hearing in tampa. there was a lot of excitement, especially the last couple of days of the convention. the speeches really did build up to a big moment last night which i thought mitt romney did a lot better than i thought he was going to do and impressed a lot of people in that speech. going into the convention, there probably was a lot more talk about, let's look at 2016. but as we built up the convention, mitt romney and paul ryan made the case why they will be elected in november. >> it's interesting that people were talking about before the convention looking at 2016. would you have admitted that to me before the convention, chip? >> maybe if we would have had
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lunch in tampa on monday. >> i'd have to use alcohol to get the answer? >> never know. >> let me bring in what peggy noonan said. she said, it was a speech that seemed assembled by people who loved pictures but not words. what you're hearing a lot of people -- we know her background, she's a conservative. there was no substance here. for example, when the governor talks about creating 12 million job, how will you do that? when will we get that answer? >> well, i think he did a couple of things. he did talk about his plan, five-step plan that will get the economy going and create those jobs. but i think that mitt romney's speech was a lot more important to introduce us to mitt romney because we've always heard we never did get to know mitt romney. you've heard me on your show several times say mitt romney has a hard time connecting. i think he did a great job in connecting with the american people thursday night. he showed us a little emotion. he talked about his family, talked about his mom and dad, growing up.
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he had some really emotional moments. when he talked about his mom and dad's great love affair and bringing a rose every day, there was a gasp in the hall. and i can just imagine in living rooms everywhere, there's a real person here in mitt romney who we never really heard about. and the speeches before his really did a great job talking about mitt romney, the person. and i think as he does that, because we talk about the difference and the likability between mitt romney and barack obama, i think that went a long way towards closing that dpap. >> you heard so many republicans say the president is a nice guy. but that's not what matters. so obviously anyone who talks about their parents in a loving way, that beautiful story about the rose that governor romney told, was all nice. but under the kcredo of the republican party, so what that you love your parents and that they had a beautiful marriage. >> we thibault bo isn think thas
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a good husband, a good father and a good man. but the gap you've seen in the polls is they don't want to vote for barack obama because they don't think he did a good job but they're not on board with mitt romney because they don't like him. >> jimmy, you get the next five minutes since i was talking to chip that long. let me start off with this -- the question posed, the point posed by governor romney is that there were people who have been enthusiastic about the president or disappointed. we've heard from many supporters who articulate that. how does the president moving into next week win those people back who perhaps aren't ready to not vote against him but aren't sure if he has the plan for the future? >> i'm disappointed in the president. i'm disappointed because i think he was naive into thinking he could actually change washington, d.c. and all of the
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messed-upness, that's the best i can say it, and tlooen cleclean swamp that is that city -- >> people just gasped -- >> i don't think he's governed like carter. i think he thought he could totally change how d.c. works in four years. not going to happen. let's talk about mitt romney, though. mitt romney -- by the way, the president needs at this point to get 6% of the undecided vote. that's all he needs because we know he's going to get most democrats. we know mitt romney is going to get most republicans. >> women, latino. >> exactly right. it's a narrow sliver of people that these two men are going to fight for. to that point, last night mitt romney needed to do something to get those people on his side. he needed to tell them something about himself or things about himself that we didn't know before. and the only thing that i learned from that speech, which i thought was a perfectly fine mitt romney speech.
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but the only thing that i learned was what chip alluded to, was his love and affection for his mother and father and the thing about the rose and how she found out her husband had passed away. when i watched that, i had the same exact reaction. it was very comforting to me to hear that. but it didn't tell me a damn thing about how he's going to get 12 million people back to work, balance the budget, et cetera. i appreciate his plan. that's on his website. i can read that all day long. i learned nothing else about why mitt romney could -- >> how to get people back to work. this line about iran, also russia, really raised some eyebrows. i want to play governor romney talking about president obama's foreign policy and i'll get your reaction, jimmy. >> every american was relieved the day president obama gave the order and s.e.a.l. team 6 took out osama bin laden. [ applause ]
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on another front, every american is less secure today because he has failed to slow iran's nuclear threat. president obama has thrown allies like israel under the bus even as he has relaxed sanctions on castro's cuba and is eager to give russia's president putin the flexibility he desires after the election. >> jimmy, what's your reaction to that? here the president today, fort bliss, two years after combat role of our troops ended, we still know what's happening in afghanistan. >> it's easy for a nominee to second-guess a president and his decisions when it comes to our troops abroad and here. we grew up in an era and chip, you did as well, where the russians were our enemies and our parents' enemy. and that has to a large degree subsided. it's back. and it's back because it's being talked about and it's being put in our faces again. i don't see russia as a massive threat to the united states of america.
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saying that it is so, scaring people, red scare, in my opinion, is politicizing foreign policy. you can't politicize foreign policy. you cannot politicize our diplomacy and you can't politicize our troops. >> people do. they certainly do. >> they do. but every time the democrats did it to bush, we were unpatriotic and un-american. and i work in the united states senate at that point. and we walked around on eggshells to make sure we didn't criticize bush and what he did abroad. mitt romney is bringing that up. if i were his people, i would be very careful about that. >> could that part have been edited out of that speech? if for example the point was to get to know mitt romney, that was all about president obama and mitt romney's critique of his foreign policy. but we don't get anything out of this as far as what governor romney wants. many people left thinking he wanted to go to war with iran. >> mitt romney thinks that
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barack obama has been a bad foreign policy president and so do a lot of other people. what he's done in iran is a perfect example. you can talk about -- he's not done anything to deter iran from building a nuclear weapon. nothing. and when israel is our greatest ally in the middle east, we need to stand with them no matter what. and i think if you talk to the israelis, they have questions whether barack obama is going to side with them. >> chip, you have to back it up. >> it's the truth. >> explain to me exactly what it is that you think barack obama or susan rice or secretary of state clinton, what could they be doing differently knowing that russia and china are vetoing anything and everything that we do against iran? >> first of all, they vetoed in the united nations. i'm not worried about the united nations. i'm worried about our greatest ally in the middle east, israel. >> so is barack obama? >> if you talk to the israelis, they don't feel like the united states is fully with them on this issue. if i was the president or the secretary of state, i would make it clear in no uncertain terms
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to iran f you continue this, we will do whatever it takes to protect our ally, zblirz and to your point, barack obama has done exactly that. and so has secretary clinton. >> it's interesting you say that. but the israelis don't feel that way. >> let me move to afghanistan and iraq. if he's so focused on foreign policy and has stellar plans ahead, why on this day that you've got these troops talking about iraq and the end of official combat there for our troops didn't we hear from governor romney on afghanistan and iraq? >> he's talked about this in the past with his foreign policy speeches. last night was just a -- he had 45 minutes to cover a lot of ground. he touched on foreign policy a little bit at the end. he was being critical of president obama's foreign policy, which was fair game. i agree with jimmy, we don't criticize the troops. you never criticize the troops. we're all united on that. but it's how the commander in chief does his job. and i think there's a lot of people in this country that feels like he's not served this
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country well in foreign policy. >> right now, we're still losing lives in afghanistan. and if he can utter about russia, perhaps there would have been an extra minute or two to take from clint eastwood and include those people there in afghanistan. thank you very much, chip and jimmy. speaking of, more reaction about the romney speech. but, of course, there's that clint eastwood moment. how would you describe it? >> what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that. can't do that to himself. you're absolutely crazy. >> talk about a social media explosion. you can't go on facebook, twitter, anywhere without someone talking about that moment, the invisible obama twitter handle has popped up. thousands of people on it. plus, why a ronald reagan hologram was nixed from the rnc.
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back to politics and hashtag eastwooding, what people are calling clint eastwood's stunt before governor romney's acceptance speech last night. moments after clint eastwood's speech, even ann romney referred to it as, quote, unique. twitter exploded with users mocking him by tweeting pictures of people with empty chairs. the obama campaign also did a little eastwooding of its own, tweeting this picture of the president with a caption that reads, this seat's taken.
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eastwood's so-called obama has its own twitter page. let's bring jimmy and chip back in. we know right after that speech, the campaign came out and said he was ad libbing and there's no way we should see him through the same lens as politicians even though he has a political background, mayor of carmel. we know that. please be honest, chip. what did you think of that moment yesterday? i'm begging you for honesty here. >> i'm always honest on your show. this is going to shock you. i was speechless after that. i didn't know what to say. i grew up watching every clint eastwood movie. he's an icon. he's a legend. you're never going to hear me say anything bad about clint eastwood because i'm such a huge fan.
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last night may have not been the best position for him to be in the convention. i think i'm going to agree with ann romney on this and say unique and let jimmy go from there. >> because he's 82 years old. and steve schmidt said, he's 82, feel sorry for him. people take issue with that because they say you need to be responsible for what you say. but who mishandled that? as i understand it, no one saw the speech. it was ad libbed. shouldn't that have been more controlled, especially on such an important night for governor romney? >> it's interesting. i was thinking about if i was the convention director and i have had no president in telling presidents or candidates what they should or shouldn't do. i would have had a hard time telling clint eastwood what to do. chuck norris helped us in the huckabee campaign and i had a hard time telling him what to do. >> you were starstruck? are you confessing people behind
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the scenes might have been a little bit woozy on the celebrity booze? >> it's possible. the first time i met chuck norris, i was star-struck. i would probably freeze up and say, empty chair? perfect, go for it. >> it's easy for some people to make fun and laugh at this. but there are folks who took great offense to the tone of it, the nature of it and the lack of, i guess, decorum from this person that is in his world an icon. >> i said to a friend this morning, the only way that could have been worse is if they two-packed or hologramed president obama into the chair. when you're offensive and weird at the same time, you've really struck out. that was bizarre to an extreme. i watched it again this morning. it's bizarre even more at this hour than it was last night. i don't understand it. and i don't know what people were thinking.
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and i don't buy the whole star-struck thing. clint eastwood is an icon, a fabulous actor. but you put somebody up on the stage where you have 20 million people watching. he's supposed to be making the case why mitt romney needs to replace the current president and that was a complete whiff of the ball. >> who is he supposed to appeal? >> apparently no one in the chair because there's nobody in the chair. >> we know that romney's doing well with women, latinos, with white males, certain age groups -- >> he's got the white males. >> who is clint eastwood designed to appeal to? >> maybe it seemed too cute by an inch -- i don't know. i'll go home this weekend on my way to charlotte and i'll ask people, what did you think of the clint eastwood thing? >> you don't have to ask people that. go online. >> my people in south carolina don't know what online is. >> you're meaning your family. >> yeah.
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i'll ask my brother. he'll probably say, it was pretty damn weird. it was weird. i don't get it. >> michael moore said, clint eastwood drove home to tens of millions of viewers the central message of this year's republican national convention, we are delusional and detached from reality, vote for us. i tease that there was at least one celebrity, chip, who praised this speech. can you guess who that celebrity was that sent out the tweet -- the tweet says, i loved watching clint eastwood last night, he was terrific. >> i have no idea. >> it was donald trump. >> makes sense now. i will say this. jimmy talked about how it was weird. i know you shouldn't text and drive. you shouldn't drive and watch tv -- >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> for the viewers. but he did say some interesting things in there that i think hopefully got through. this is our country and that politicians work for us. he made some really good points within the odd format.
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but i think clint eastwood, at the end of the day, a lot of people, especially democrat, want to talk about it because it took away from what was a great night. >> the reality, as you know, straight-shoot it, everyone's talking about that moment. >> it's certainly fun to talk about. >> except for clint eastwood. >> he's probably asleep. >> jimmy, thank you very much. chip, thank you as well. just in the past hour, governor mitt romney touched down in louisiana where he is now touring the aftermath of hurricane isaac after being invited by governor bobby jindal. we know that president obama will be there on monday. the obama campaign -- we just got information that the president's trip was already planned before governor romney's visit. plus, the pentagon threatens a former navy s.e.a.l. with legal action after he writes that tell-all book regarding the raid that ended in osama bin laden being killed. we've got new information just
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officials in flood-ravaged plaquemines parish, louisiana, say more victims of hurricane isaac may be found as the waters there begin to recede. the storm has so far claimed five lives. on the gulf coast, hundreds of thousands of people still without power. many of them in new orleans. mitt romney arrived in louisiana today where he plans to visit jefferson parish, one of the areas swamped by a surge, because it sits outside of the upgraded levee system that protects new orleans. president obama will be in the region on monday. nbc correspondent thanh truong is live in new orleans with the latest on both of those visits. thanh, what can you tell us first about the people? they're trying to put things back together and recover. >> reporter: certainly. let's go over the numbers real quick here. about 500,000 people in the
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greater new orleans area without power. today it's a very hot, humid day. if you can imagine that with the elderly and some of the special needs communities right now, it's a very hot situation, without power, there's no air conditioning. about 5,000 people in louisiana right now are still evacuated in shelters. and that's the situation. but take a look here. this is one of the reasons why things are relatively calm here at this point. this is one of the major pump stations in the lakeview area. just seven years ago, this was an area that was basically ground zero for hurricane katrina. that levee wall right there, there was a huge hole in it. and basically that sunk the city. over 80% of the city was under water. outside of this area without the levee protection at the top, plaquemines parish and also the area where mitt romney will be visiting today in lafeet, those areas are under water because of their lack of hurricane protection, specifically levee protection. he'll be seeing what that lack of levee protection is going to bring. a lot of people right now down
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highway 23, those areas, especially in plaquemines parish, were hard hit during hurricane katrina and againhis time around, they're sitting in a lot of water at this point. right now, they're hoping to get things back online, especially with the electricity, hoping with the next couple of days that happens. right now, people are sitting in very hot, humid conditions. >> are they bringing in utility workers from the region to work on this? i know they were waiting for the winds to reduce. that's happened, as we can see from your live shot. are they bringing in people to do this? >> reporter: all along i-10, right now when you talk about eastbound and westbound, you see bucket trucks coming in from across the country. we saw it earlier this morning. they're coming but how quickly they can get out to these neighborhoods, and there are a lot of neighborhoods, that's the big question. >> thank you very much. coming up, from tampa to charlotte, republicans had their time to shine. now it's the democrats' turn to make their case as the dnc gets under way monday.
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our "news nation" political postscript is next. plus, hurricane isaac sends gas prices soaring to a record high. but it's not just isaac responsible for what you will pay this labor day weekend. we'll tell you the other things on this list. and be sure to take our out "news nation" tumbler page. find behind-the-scenes picture, including our producer who was with me in new orleans that joined me. thaf thco ody s et manc e' be b s et foha or slanil
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the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption. arntlr gh rg [ nn ]errequ gh sf owgrl. rg
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i don't have to use gas. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. drive around town all the time doing errands and never ever have to fill up gas in the city. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. the last time i went to the gas station must have been about three months ago. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. ♪ . time now for the "news nation" postscript. under the threat of hurricane isaac, the republican national convention kicked off with a revised schedule as republicans tried to convince americans that their party and their candidate is the best choice come november. >> i want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts. i want to talk to you about love, abiding love, profound
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love, love so deep, love, love, love. i love you women. >> tonight, we're going to do what my mother taught me. tonight, we're going to choose respect over love. we have a nominee who will tell us the truth and will lead with conviction. now he has a running mate who will do the same. we have gr mitt romney and congressman paul ryan. >> with all their attack ads, the president is throwing away money and he's pretty experienced at that. without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years? after four years of getting the run-around, america needs a turnaround. and the man for the job is governor mitt romney. >> as governor of massachusetts, i chose a woman lieutenant governor, a woman chief of staff. half of my cabinet and senior officials were women. and in business, i mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.
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>> well, next week it's all about the democrats at their convention in charlotte. mike viqueira joins us. mike, the romneys were on the same page. they understand the importance of women voters which will be high-profile women featured at the dnc as well. the numbers show obama, 51%, romney, 41%. >> reporter: you're absolutely right. i think both sides recognize this is a huge advantage. both sides recognize this is a huge advantage for president obama going into this final stretch of the campaign, the last two months after the president wraps up the dnc with a speech at the convention next thursday night. it's not really a secret at this point, tamron. the obama folks want this to be a choice and not a referendum. as i came out here to talk to you, i just came from the white house briefing room. we were back in the nbc booth listening to a conference call from top obama campaign officials talking about the economy, talking about the gender gap, talking about all the strengths that they have and many of them in those key
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counties -- a generation ago, we talked about the key swing districts in michigan. mccomb county and the like. to put a fine point on it here, the president, we're home alone here again and we expect to be for much of the next two months, the president heading down to fort bliss in el paso, texas, for an official event. technically not a campaign event, this on the second anniversary of his decision to withdraw combat troops or the withdrawal of combat troops from iraq. he really wants to drive that point home. as the president steps on the gas trying to build up momentum, trying to negate any bounce that the republicans and mitt romney get coming off their convention, he's going to be in a lot of swing states, iowa, colorado, ohio. canceling a stop in cleveland, we've learned today. he's going to be stopping in louisiana to survey that damage from hurricane or tropical storm isaac. much as mitt romney was today.
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a lot of dueling back and forth. the money race is on as well. michelle obama spending out a plea over e-mail saying she shrugs off many of the attacks that the president suffered from republicans rhetorically over the course of the last three days in tampa. >> you mentioned the back and forth, the keyword of that, back. our first routine points out that romney's speech had a lot to do with nostalgic optimism but we know that america has not always been the most welcoming for minorities, for women, specifically voting. i'll just leave it at that. but nevertheless, ann romney was on this morning and savannah guthrie asked her, can you name any legislation, any policy that your husband has backed that would improve the lives or have improved the lives of women? and she did not. she kind of deflected and talked about the economy and how this economy and these times have certainly been hard for women as well there. so it's likely at the dnc we will see more specifics, especially when you talk about
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planned parenthood and some of the hot topics we've discussed regarding women. >> reporter: sure. and the equal pay, the lilly ledbetter the president signed into law. they were trying to tap into that unifying narrative, if you will, that brings americans together, the up from the bootstraps story, which fits into the theme that they hit of less regulation, less taxes and so forth. that is the sort of political rhetoric that you can expect from conventions. we can argue or we can discuss and it's obviously being discussed a lot the relationship or the correlation with the reality of the situation, as you point out. but this is what we're going to be parsing over the course of the next two months, no question about it. >> thank you very much, mike. great pleasure having you on. don't miss the premiere of "barack obama, making history" that's monday night, 10:00 eastern on msnbc. and tonight at 10:00, an encore
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showing of "mitt romney, the making of a candidate." the ex-navy s.e.a.l. who wrote that controversial new tell-all book about the raid that killed osama bin laden could find himself sued by the pentagon. the book "no easy day" comes out next week. but in the letter to the author, lawyers for the defense department warn that releasing it is a violation of a signed confidentiality agreement. jim miklaszewski joins us. attorneys for the former s.e.a.l. have launched their response here. >> reporter: that's absolutely right. this controversy over this book which does offer a blow-by-blow account by a former navy s.e.a.l. who is there at the scene, fired shots into the dying body of osama bin laden. so if anybody knows what happens that day, he should be one of them. but now it's evolved into a battle of two lawyers. on this side, we have the pentagon lawyer, the top lawyer here at the pentagon, who claims
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that this navy s.e.a.l. who wrote the book under the pseudoname mark owen signed two separate nondisclosure agreements in which he agreed never to divulge any classified information. and that any of this had to be submitted to the pentagon for pre-publication review. and that he's already violated that part of his nondisclosure agreement. on the other hand, we have his private attorney, robert luskin who specializes in white collar crime and federal investigations who claims the former s.e.a.l. has taken his obligations very seriously and, in fact, was not required under that nondisclosure agreement to submit the manuscript, the book, for a pre-publication review. so this is all going to end up
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in the laps of the justice department eventually, to determine if there's any cause, any reason for the justice department to pursue any kind of legal action against this s.e.a.l. >> legal action could include the profits from the book. excerpts of the book already out there. if there is "damage," it's done. it's on paper. >> reporter: that's one of the penalties under the nondisclosure agreement. if the agreement is violated in any way in publication of a book, the profits, any money made on the book by the individual, has to be turned over to the u.s. government. of course, that would all be subject to litigation. but i can tell you, from what we understand, pre-release sales or orders of this book are through the roof, have surpassed "fifty shades of grey." and they expect that, quite frankly, all of this publicity will probably only increase those sales.
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the book now set to be released by september 4th. officials here say, look, so far it's not clear that there are any classified secrets contained in this book that would violate any kind of nondisclosure agreement. and they are not asking the publisher specifically to put off the release of the book which appears scheduled now for next tuesday. >> thank you very much. coming up, a gunman opens fire inside a supermarket early this morning leaving three people dead. we've got the details in news around the nation. but first, a lot going on today. here are things we thought you should know. with the convention behind him, paul ryan is turning his focus to his fall debate with vice president joe biden. ryan telling cnn he's watching tapes and other things to get ready. and do you remember that hologram? yahoo! reports a similar hologram of ronald reagan was supposed to debut outside the rnc this past week. the idea, though, was scrapped
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out of concern that it could overshadow mitt romney officially becoming the party nominee. the official unveiling has been put off until later this year. and mary j. blige will perform at next week's dnc in charlotte. she joins a growing list of celebrities. want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it! now we need a little bit more... a little bit more vanilla? this is great! [ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah. that's a very nice cake! [ male announcer ] well, you can't beat them. [ giggles ] ohh! you got something huh? whoa... [ male announcer ] humana understands the value of spending time together that's a lot of work getting that one in! let's go see the birdies. [ male announcer ] one on one, sharing what you know. let's do it grandpa. that's why humana agents will sit down with you,
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but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today. developing news right now, president obama's arrived at fort bliss in el paso, texas. he is there to mark two years since the announcement of the end of u.s. combat missions in iraq. nbc white house correspondent kristen welker traveling with the president. do we have any indication or any details on what the president will say? >> reporter: well, tamron, this is a hugely symbolic day for president obama, for the service members here because just two
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years ago, president obama announced the end of major combat operations in iraq from this very spot. so he will definitely be talking about that. the white house is dubbing this as an official trip. but there is, of course, the potential for a lot of political gain as well. this comes on the heels of the rnc, a night when mitt romney really assailed some of president obama's foreign policy decisions. this gives the president an opportunity to talk about what he sees as one of his biggest foreign policy achievements, namely ending the war in iraq, something that he has called a promise kept because it was something that he campaigned on back in 2008. president obama will also be announcing a new executive order, which is aimed at improving mental health services for veterans as well as their family members as a part of that executive order. it includes the expansion of the v.a. crisis hotline by 50%, as well as the creation of a national suicide prevention campaign. the v.a. is also set to hire 800 new peer-to-peer counselors who
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can really help some of the veterans who are struggling once they leave the combat zone. this is something that this community certainly cares a lot about, in part because if you look at the statistics, back in 2011, 165 active army personnel committed suicide. so this is something that is near and dear to the hearts of the folks here as well as the folks really nationwide. and of course, there are political implications for this trip. the military vote, very important to president obama and mitt romney. president obama lost the military vote to john mccain by about ten points. recent polls show he may be making some inroads with this community. so president obama and mitt romney will certainly be taking their messages about the military -- to military service members over the coming weeks. >> and the president's visit to the gulf coast on monday, what is the white house saying about that? >> reporter: that's right. we just learned that president obama is going to visit louisiana on monday and visit with some of the folks who were
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most impacted by isaac. white house press secretary jay carney telling reporters that president obama had planned that trip prior to knowing about mitt romney's trip to louisiana today. so he's canceling actually one of his campaign stops on monday, which was scheduled to be in ohio in order to go to louisiana. but this is going to be a very busy couple of days for president obama. he's going to be campaigning heavily during this holiday weekend. he'll be visiting a number of key battleground states, really building momentum to the run-up to the dnc and of course his all-important speech next thursday. tamron? >> kristen, thank you very much. get ready for sticker shock at the gas pump if you're driving this holiday weekend. prices are higher than ever for this time of the year. let's get the latest from nbc's tom costello who's in bethesda, maryland. >> reporter: good afternoon. we're seeing today the average nationally $3.83 a gallon. that is up ten cents in just a
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single week. and across the country, drivers are paying more for gasoline than they ever have this time of the year. this is not the news any of us wanted to hear going into the labor day weekend. gas prices have been on the climb this week. in some cities, 10 to 15-cent increases in one day. that's the biggest jump in 18 months. on this color-coded map, green shows the lowest prices in the country. red, the highest. illinois and california are bright red, both about $4.15 a gallon. in los angeles thursday, $4.16. >> i remember being a small child and standing in line for 60 cents a gallon gas and just being like, oh, my god, this is so expensive. >> reporter: in chicago, they're near $4.31 a gallon, the highest in the country. but we found $4.49. >> it's the first time i've spent over $50. >> reporter: hurricane isaac gets a lot of the blame for driving up prices. as it took aim at louisiana, oil
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rigs, refineries, even a critical pipeline shut down. cnbc's scott cohen is there. >> the good news is it appears there's been no damage to the oil rigs offshore or refineries along the coast. the issue now is getting them back up and running. the longer that takes, the higher prices could go. >> reporter: and there was also a ruptured pipeline in wisconsin, a refinery fire in california, an expensive summer gasoline blend. gasoline prices aren't expected to stay this high. >> between thanksgiving and christmas, the national average may drop to the mid $3 range. and certainly some areas could drop even lower than that. >> reporter: here's a little bit of gas pump 101 for you. we normally see a spike in price this is time of year because we're seeing the refineries shift from their summer blend over to their winter blend so they have to bring down inventories. the trouble is when you throw in a hurricane and refineries go offline, that causes an even bigger jump in prices. that's exactly what we've seen happen. back to you.
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>> thank you, tom. a deadly shooting at a supermarket in new jersey. three people dead after police say the gunman shot two fellow employees before killing himself. the shooting happened overnight. the store was not opened at the time. police are looking into a motive. harvard university is investigating dozens of students for possibly cheating on the final exam. university officials say undergraduates are being investigated for plagiarism or sharing answers on a take-home test. if found guilty, students could face a one-year suspension. and michigan lottery officials have revealed the identity of the person who won the state's $337 million powerball jackpot. he is 44-year-old railroad worker don lawson. here's what he said he did with the winning ticket when he found out he won. >> the ticket was in my bible. and then it was put under my coach. it was put in my refrigerator.
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it was put numerous places before i was able to put it in the bank. >> lawson chose to take the lump sum $241 million. he said he's always wanted to travel. man, he can do that for sure now. up next, our "news nation" gut check. we take you back to the hot story, it seems, of the day. do you think clint eastwood's surprise speech last night was funny or offensive? ♪ ♪ ♪ that should do it. enjoy your new shower. [ door opens, closes ]
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time now for the "news nation" gut check. as we told you earlier, it's the moment of the rnc everyone is talking about, for good and for bad. clint eastwood's nearly 12-minute unscripted monologue at the republican national convention. a story posted today in "the new york times" website headlined, after a gun slinger cuts loose,
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romney aides take cover. what does your gut tell you about this one? was clint eastwood improv speech funny or offensive? go to facebook.com/newsnation to cast that vote. that does it for this edition of "news nation" on friday. thank you for joining us. starting monday, msnbc will have all-day coverage of the dnc. join our twitter conversation, #msnbc2012. we'll be here on monday. "the cycle" is up next. we a? ng d [ male announcer ] introducing new dentyne split to fit pack. it splits in to two smaller, sleeker packs
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that fit almost anywhere so you can take them everywhere. dentyne split to fit. practice safe breath. t mancelarth aarmeanla u obo ou bmel es t suinbns and ou . of mior. wi 'lbl w and [ nnwihe oanu'lesi of r .
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mior. ccpa wi 'lbl w us and [ nnwihe oanu'lesi of r . so wllst thde elnd me.t 'lbl w us and [ nnwihe oanu'lesi of r . l thsoe. w on po nrnlcaemrsrp izn eo l thsoe. w he mt d sahodsa of nqu yodeon
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arntlr gh rg [ nn ]errequ gh sf owgrl. rg i'm toure. the president's in texas. romney's in louisiana. and clint eastwood doesn't know where he is. >> i'm s.e. cupp. i'm back from tampa. the president's speech better pack a punch after romney stands tall in the ring last night. >> i'm steve kornacki.

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